News and Analysis
NCAA Launches First E-Learning Module
NCAA has been busy since it first published new results on college-athlete harm and harassment last month and has launched its first e-learning module. Aimed at educating student-athletes about gambling-related risks and harms, it covers problem gambling, integrity, social media harassment, and the NCAA rules. It is freely available here.
Last week, the NCAA asked all states to work with them and update regulatory rules to ensure that student-athletes are protected from harassment, citing that few of the 38 states that had legalized sports betting protected college athletes.
3,700 Detroit Casino Workers Walk Out
Detroit casino workers have staged a strike over pay and healthcare disputes. The strike started on Tuesday 17th, and included 3,700 union workers from the city's three casinos. The union, UNITE HERE Local 24, approved strike action after a 99% approval rate vote.
The union requests better healthcare, job security, retirement packages, and wage increases. Workers have reportedly said that they are willing to strike until they get "what we deserve," saying they have forgone wage increases and other benefits to allow the industry to recover from the effects of the pandemic, but now it is time to readjust. Since the pandemic, casino worker wages have risen 3% compared with a 20% rise in inflation.
Union workers in Las Vegas are also planning to strike action due to similar problems with contract negotiations.
UKGC's Tim Miller Calls for International Regulatory Cooperation Against Illegal Operators
You often hear about the USA and UK's "special relationship," but how's this one for size? In a landmark moment for international gambling regulator cooperation, The Gambling Commission Executive Director Tim Miller called on regulators worldwide to target illegal gambling operators during a speech given to the industry at this year's Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.
Miller said that in the last year, the UKGC has reduced traffic to illegal gambling sites by 46% through targeted collaborations with payment providers, game and software suppliers, and internet search providers, thus demonstrating the importance of collaboration.
"As more North American jurisdictions open up to online gambling or sports betting, we see more and more large British or European operators looking to establish themselves here, in your markets. Increasingly, we regulate the same companies; we address the same risks; we face the same challenges."
"The more gambling regulators know of each others rules, standards and markets, the more we are sharing information and best practices, the more we support each other, then the more effective we will be. This, in turn, makes it harder for uncooperative operators to circumvent a regulator's regime or means they are more likely to face difficult questions in their home jurisdiction if they act poorly elsewhere."
What does this look like in the US, and what do we think of it? Well, it's about time regulators acted in a more globalized nature, working together to enforce legal and safe gambling. We regularly see examples of how easy it is for offshore casinos to establish operations and quickly target consumers from different jurisdictions.
Moreover, AGA reports show a worryingly large share of the US gambling market goes to offshore markets, costing approximately $13 billion in yearly tax revenue. Increased communication between regulators can make it harder for those seeking to evade fair gaming and tax regimes to operate.
A closer partnership with the UKGC can only be beneficial as it's known to have one of the highest levels of player protection worldwide and regularly undertakes first-hand gambling research. According to Miller, The Commission is concluding "a number of Memoranda of Understanding with US regulators, in order to establish clear working relationships," which can only be beneficial as most US regulators are new to the online game.
NCPG and Mindway RG Partnership
The National Council on Problem Gambling is integrating Mindway's Gamalyze AI on ResponsiblePlay.org, its statewide responsible gambling site. Gamalyze is an innovative new program designed to identify risky gambling behavior and provide customized interventions on a player-by-player base. It employs gamification to re-design problem gambling diagnostic testing, making it fun.
The tool will help provide those seeking problem gambling support with a better service and empower them to make better gambling choices. It will also provide the NCPG with data it can use to improve its RG programs.
For some time, industry experts have been citing the need for more frictionless RG tools designed to be attractive to players and fit for the age of modern gaming. Gamalyze is an excellent example of this, so we're excited that the NCPG is rolling it out statewide. If you still need to try it, hit up the NCPG over the next month and have a go.
NBA and Inspired Partner for One-of-a-Kind Virtual Games Range
Inspired Entertainment has won the rights to create an exclusive range of virtual games using archival NBA footage. The games will provide multiple virtual betting opportunities based on the actual footage. The range will cover all 30 NBA teams and the All-Star, Playoffs, and Finals.
Inspired President and CEO Brooks Pierce said in the press release, "We are thrilled to offer basketball fans worldwide the one-of-a-kind experience of a Virtual Sports NBA game. Our use of archived NBA footage will produce a truly distinct virtual sports offering. This will be complete with fresh gaming experiences providing a unique way for fans to stay connected with the game. Our partnership with the NBA allows us to provide an incredible offering. It will elevate our customers' brands and expand their reach to millions of basketball enthusiasts worldwide."
Game of the Week
Scroll of Seth, Play'n GO, RTP 96.31%
Scroll of Seth is a 5x3, 50-line, brand-new slot from Play'n GO. It might feel familiar, and it should, as Play'n GO are masters of Ancient Egyptian-themed games. They've pretty much perfected the genre.
As soon as you enter this game, you'll spot a horizontal top reel, which is an open scroll called the Wild Reel. There are also 10-A symbols, two Seth Wilds (gold is Normal, iron Enhanced), higher-paying animal symbols, and two Scatters - the Ankh and Scroll.
Let's start with the Wilds. Normal Wilds land on reels 2 and 4, but Enhanced Wilds are available on the Wild Reel. The Wild Reel is triggered when a Scroll Scatter lands on reel 3.
The Wild Reel has two tiers: the base game where 1-3 Enhanced Wilds can land, turning all symbols in the reel below Wild, meaning multiple, filled wild reels and Free Spins mode. The second tier, Free Spins mode, activates when you land a Scroll Scatter on reel 3 during the round. The Scroll reel has 2, 4, and 11x Multiplier Wilds and 2-4 extra spin Ankh Scatters.
To get to the free spins round, you need to land 3-5 Ankh Scatters in the base game for 8, 11, or 15 free spins. With the Wild Reel active, the round has a potential of up to 50 spins. Regarding gaming action, it's high volatility with wins up to 5,000x and bets from $0.10-100.
Ready to play? Then check out our top-rated Play'n GO Casino recommendations.